Produce Vouchers Available

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MOUNT CARMEL -- Senior citizens in Northumberland County received vouchers today to help them buy fresh fruit and vegetables from area farm markets.

Senior citizens lined up inside the Mount Carmel Senior Action Center to get $20 vouchers they can use at local farm markets.

"This helps a lot because we're both on social security and that helps a lot," Robert Brezinski said.

The produce vouchers are sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. They are available in all counties of Pennsylvania to people who are 60 years and older who meet certain income guidelines.

The vouchers come in $5 increments. The seniors are able to take them to any farmers market in Pennsylvania and redeem them for $20 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables.

"It's not just like processed or packaged food. They can go to the farmers market and get healthy food to eat," Nicole Cavanaugh said.

Senior centers in Northumberland County started handing out the vouchers to seniors who qualify. On the program's first day, more than 70 people showed up at the Mount Carmel Senior Action Center. Many agree fruits and vegetables are expensive, and the vouchers are much-needed.

"The money is there and I know I can run to the farmers market. And it helps," Helen Whyne said.

"The market is very close. So we can just go over to the farmers market and get what we need," Marguerite Brezinski said.

The vouchers are available until September 30th on a first come first serve basis. They don't expire until November.

"I save it for apples, things like that. Cabbage, corn," Annamarie Thomas said.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Produce Voucher Program, click here.